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Drive-Thru Interview: Erica and her BMW i3

Drive-Thru Interview:  Erica and her BMW i3

People connect with their cars on different levels. For many, their car is a means to get from Point A to Point B with little or no fanfare.  For others, an emotional bond is created between person and machine.  This bond can be made because of a fond memory associated with the car or maybe it is the style, color or even the tone of the exhaust that got their heart pumping.

I am always curious what causes people to connect with their cars…especially when it might be a quirky or unique vehicle.  I usually satisfy my curiosity by talking to people at car shows or in a store parking lot.  Not so in this year of COVID!

Just like a fast food drive-thru, I will deliver a contactless, delicious snack that can be quickly consumed.  Also, all of our machines work (take that, McDonald’s!).

Let’s welcome Erica next in line to the Vehicle Nanny Drive-Thru, with her answers to my 10 questions:

Name:  Erica Sietsma

 Age:  41

 Current Residence:   Phoenix, AZ

 Occupation:  Executive at a software company in retail automotive (Digital Air Strike)

 Current Fun/Unique Car:   2017 BMW i3

Reason for buying this car (include any special features, memories, etc):

Back in February, I fell for the Tesla Model 3 and was going to be taking delivery on March 27th and then COVID hit.  I decided it probably wasn’t the best time to add a second car payment at $500+/month. Plus, our company serves retail automotive dealerships and I was feeling somewhat guilty at getting a Tesla. (My experience with Tesla is a whole separate article – their customer service/process is TERRIBLE! And it made me even more grateful for our clients [aka car dealerships and their experienced teams.] ).

I stopped looking at a second car but then I received an email from my electric utilities company about the savings from an electric car and I was back on the electric bandwagon looking at options besides Tesla.  I had seen the i3 on the road and on sites, but knew it is expensive and doesn’t seem like a good value (compared to the Tesla, especially) and seems tiny – I needed to put a car seat so myself or my mom (granny nanny) could help shuttle around my son. But then, two coworkers got CPO (certified pre-owned) i3s in a span of a few weeks as BMW was having unreal deals back in April/May and I got the opportunity to test drive and ensure the car seat fit and see the cute mini sunroof in real life! 

I was hooked – it was so fun to drive and bigger than it looked from the outside!  Within hours, I had searched online and found 3 CPO versions in California (I live in AZ) that had the sunroof and I chose a bright blue 2017 CPO i3 (my son’s favorite color) from Sterling BMW in Newport Beach.  We did everything virtually and/or via FEDEX/notary and our baby blue got delivered a week later!! We are obsessed and it’s always a competition as to who gets to drive our fun zippy bright blue Beemer!

How you use the car (weekend drives, track day, daily commuter, etc): 

Daily commuter – I only live 6 miles from work so it’s a great back/forth vehicle and for weekend errands. It’s like a clown car – you can fit WAY MORE than you think!

Modifications made (or plan to make) to your car: 

I got the high-speed charger!! SO. WORTH. IT.  Costco was having a deal on the JuiceBox EV Charger and of course, my house had to be completely rewired (had to pull cable through the attic from the other side of the house) – but couldn’t be happier! Love it!

Any other fun/unique cars in your past?

My first car was a 1986 Thunderbird Elan and it had a keypad on driver’s side door so I felt so cool that I could lock my keys in the car!  Unfortunately, based on the way the numbers were worn out, one of my guy friends was able to figure out the code and took it on a joyride without my knowledge!  

Any dream car you would love to get? 

612 Scaglietti! Probably will never get that though – so more practical, when my lease on my main car (a 3 row Buick Enclave that I LOVE and the Vehicle Nanny helped me get) is up – I want an electric SUV! There aren’t a ton out there right now, but in 2022 there will be a lot more options and I can’t wait! Once you go electric – it’s hard to go back! Hmmm – maybe there will be an all-electric Enclave?!

Supporting the Hobby

I am thrilled that Erica was so willing to share her connection to her car with us, and hope this inspires you to think differently about car ownership. This is the intent of Vehicle Nanny, and certainly helps nurture the automotive interests of budding car enthusiasts.

In addition to sharing stories like this, I am providing ongoing support of automotive programs designed to inspire and educate young car enthusiasts through the sale of items in the Vehicle Nanny Merchandise Store.  All proceeds go directly to the Hagerty Automotive Youth Program, so I hope you can find a fun item for yourself that also supports our budding car enthusiasts.

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